Recently in Sides Category

Sumi Salad This sweet and salty coleslaw is a classic Cummings family favorite. Made with bagged coleslaw mix, it is really easy to throw together and makes a perfect side dish to teriyaki chicken. 1 large cabbage, chopped or one bag of coleslaw mix
3-4 green onions, chopped
1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 c. sunflower seeds, salted and toasted
1 packages ramen noodles - crumbled with no mix
Dressing:
2 T. sugar
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 T. vegetable oil (you can add a tsp of sesame oil if desired)

Crush noodles in package before opening. Mix cabbage, noodles, onions and nuts in large bowl. Pour dressing on top and toss well.

From: Cummings Family
lentils__with_rice_and_onions.jpgThis recipe is a pretty straightforward mix of rice, lentils, and onions spiced with either cumin or garam masala. It makes a delicious and satisfying side, perfect for a vegetarian Indian or middle eastern meal.

3/4 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
3 cups yellow onions, cut into quarter slices (or more)
1 tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground cumin or garam masala
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Cook rice in water following package directions, or cook in a rice cooker.

Rinse lentils, then place in heavy pot with a tight fitting lid, add 1 quart water, and let lentils simmer over very low heat uncovered until they are soft (about 20-30 minutes, but cooking time will depend on how fresh the lentils are so keep checking until they are soft but still have a slight bite to them.) When lentils are cooked, cover and let water them absorb any leftover water.

While lentils cook, chop onions. Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan, then add onions, reduce heat to medium-low and start to brown onions, stirring every few minutes. Continue to cook onions, stirring often, until they are deeply browned and caramelized, about 20-25 minutes. Don't rush this step; the onions will be bitter if they're cooked at high heat.

When onions are browned, remove half the onions to drain on a paper towel to crisp. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp cumin or garam masala into the rest of the onions in the pan and saute 1-2 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked lentils to the pan with the onions, leaving behind any water that's not absorbed. Season the cooked lentils and onions with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook 1-2 minutes to blend flavors.

Gently mix cooked rice into the lentils and caramelized onions, heating for a minute or two if the rice is not hot. Put Mujadarra on a serving dish, top with crispy caramelized onions, and serve hot or warm.

Original recipe

maple-baked-beans.jpgSweet and savory baked beans slow simmered in the crock pot or on the stove. These beans beat Bush's by a mile, and while they do take a lot more time, there isn't much prep involved. Feel free to change up the proportions of the ingredients according to taste, this is a very forgiving recipe.

4.5 cups cooked navy beans (approx. 2-3 small cans)
1 large sweet onion, diced
3-4 tbsp molasses
3 tbsp maple syrup
3-4 tablespoons regular mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1-2 cans diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 c. dried cranberries (optional but recommended)

Rinse and drain navy beans or soak and cook dry beans according to package directions. Slow-cooker method: Throw drained and rinsed beans into the slow cooker. Chop the onion and place the onion, molasses, maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, salt, tomatoes, and cranberries (optional) into the slow cooker and stir well. (Alternatively you can also cook these on the stove top or baked in the oven). Cook over high heat for about 4-5 hours (however they can be eaten after just a couple hours of cooking), or cook them on the lowest heat setting for 7-8 hours. Serves 3-4.

Original recipe


kale_slaw_with_peanut_dressing.jpgKale is one of my new favorite vegetables, thanks in no small part to more frequent visits to farmer's markets and recipes like this pasta. This recipe is a lighter, salad-like approach where the greens are just wilted, then tossed with red bell pepper and carrots in a slightly sweet peanut dressing. Excellent when served with grilled meat.

1 large bunches curly or lacinato kale, about 2 pounds
1 red bell peppers, cleaned and cut into fine strips
1 large carrot, peeled
1/4 + 2 tbs cup roasted, salted peanuts, divided
2 tbs vegetable oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

Fold each leaf of kale in half lengthwise and slice out the center rib. Discard ribs. Roll a stack of the leaves up and slice in half lengthwise, then crosswise into very fine ribbons. Wash and rinse thoroughly in a salad spinner.Heat a little oil in a pan, and add the kale. Cook, stirring frequently, until kale is wilted but still not soft.

Toss the kale with the sliced bell peppers. Slice the carrot very thin. Toss with the kale, red pepper, and 2 tbs of the peanuts.

In a chopper or small food processor, briefly puree the remaining 1/4 cup peanuts, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper flakes. Pulse it just a few times; the peanuts should be partially pureed, but with some nibs and nubs still left in the dressing. (The texture difference between the whole peanuts, ground peanuts, and pureed peanuts in the sauce is one of the things that makes this slaw so wonderful.)

Toss the dressing with the slaw and let it sit for at least a few minutes before serving.

Original recipe


IMG_6349.JPGBeing from the south, I was raised on cornbread dressing, but this Cummings' family tradition is pretty tasty I must admit. Savory additions of corn, mushrooms and sliced black olives are well balanced by the sweet rose wine scented broth. Daniel calls this dressing " one element of the perfect trifecta of Thanksgiving flavors," the other two being turkey and mashed potatoes of course.

1 large onion, chopped small
5 stalks celery, chopped small
8 oz white button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 T. butter

2 c. rose wine
3 c. chicken broth
2 T. butter
1/2 tsp sage

1 package Pepperidge Farm herb dressing (cubed)
1 package Pepperidge Farm herb dressing (crumbs)
1 1/2 cans yellow corn
1 can black olives, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat 1/2 tbs butter in a skillet, add onion, celery, and mushrooms. Lightly salt and pepper the vegetables and saute until onions begin to brown.

Meanwhile, heat broth, wine, 2 tbs butter, and ~1/2 tsp dried sage in medium saucepan until butter is melted.

Mix onion mixture with remaining dry ingredients (stuffing, corn, olives) in large bowl. Add broth/wine over until mixture is moist, mix gently. Pour into 9x13" baking dish. Bake ~1 hour or until top is browned.

This recipe was a surprise hit with a perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors. A great easy use for an abundance of summer squash.

4 medium yellow squash
2 small sweet onions (or one medium)
1 tsp unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

Slice the squash into 1/2-inch rounds, cutting large ones in half. You should end up with roughly 2 cups of cut squash. Cut the onions into similar-sized slices.

Add the butter to a wide sauce pan that has a lid and heat over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the onions and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add squash, salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Stir, then cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until squash is very soft.

Remove the cover and continue to cook for about 8 minutes, just to give the juices a chance to evaporate slightly. There will be some liquid in the pan, but it should be thicker than water, almost like a glaze. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed, and serve immediately.

Original recipe


summer_veg_sm.jpgThis is not so much a recipe as an outline, since it consisted mostly of whatever vegetables I had in the fridge at the time. But it came out very well, so by here it is by popular request (from Daniel):

3-4 zucchini, sliced into  ~1/4" thick half-rounds
the kernels from 2 ears fresh corn
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
olive oil
salt
Heat a little olive oil over medium heat until shimmering, add zucchini, sprinkle with salt and/or seasoning. Cook ~5 minutes or until just starting to turn soft, add corn and bell pepper. Saute until desired degree of tenderness. Season to taste
Carmelized onion, sliced garlic, and soft and tender kale make a wonderful light and flavorful pasta topping, perfect for a fancy side dish with a formal meal or by itself for a light dinner. My hands-down favorite use for fresh kale.

1 pound lacinato kale (about 2 bunches), large center ribs and stems removed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 pound spaghetti or linguine
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Finely grated Parmesan cheese

Rinse kale. Drain; transfer to bowl with some water still clinging.

Heat 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add sliced garlic and sprinkle with salt; cook until onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add kale and remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and toss until wilted, about 3 minutes. Cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue cooking until kale is very tender, stirring occasionally and adding water by teaspoonfuls if dry, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in medium pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add cooked spaghetti to kale mixture in pot. Add lemon juice and 2 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid; toss to combine, adding more liquid by tablespoonfuls if dry. Sprinkle spaghetti with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

Original recipe

Fried okra is a very traditional southern side dish, and was the only way I would eat the otherwise slimy vegetable as a kid. These are baked instead of deep fried, so they are not as decadent as the ones we used to get at "Dixie Dandy" back home, but they have a nice crunch and taste nearly as good when dipped in ketchup.

1 egg
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper sauce (optional)
1 lb. fresh okra
1 cup dry bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Trim ends from okra and slice into rounds about 1/2" thick. In a large pot of sated water, boil okra about 5 minutes, just until tender. Drain and pat dry. In a large bowl, beat together egg, pepper sauce, and one Tbsp of water. Add okra to bowl and stir until coated with the egg mixture.

Fill a large paper or resealable plastic bag with the bread crumbs, salt and pepper. With a slotted spoon, remove okra from the egg mixture and add to the bag, turning and shaking slightly until okra is evenly coated.

On a nonstick baking sheet, spread okra in a single layer and spray okra with nonstick spray. Bake about 12-15 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. (Serves six.)
Original recipe


Cooking the rice in broth with sauteed onion gives it a rich, almost risotto-like flavor. Shelled edamame and sesame oil lend an Asian flair.

1 cup black or brown rice
1 white or yellow onion, diced
2 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cup chicken broth*
1 package edamame in shells
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbs soy sauce
Heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add rice and cook for 1 minute.
Pour chicken broth over top and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20-30 minutes.
5 minutes before the timer goes off, cook edamame according to directions, shell.
In a small bowl, combine sesame oil and soy sauce. Pour the oil and soy sauce over edamame. Add to rice or serve on the side.

Original recipe
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